Sunday, February 18, 2018




Answer Line: Yes, Lake Bob Sandlin's water level is higher, but ...

Feb. 3, 2018 at 12:03 a.m.


QUESTION: I heard a rumor about Lake Bob Sandlin. The coal electric plant there is closed, and I heard they're going to raise the lake level there by 3 feet. Would you let me know if you can find out anything about that rumor?

ANSWER: You have no idea how happy I am to be on the truth patrol. For real. Not joking. Totally sincere.

So, no, the specific rumor you heard is not true, although like many good rumors it probably had its beginnings in a little bit of truth somewhere.

First, some facts.

The Luminant power plant that recently closed actually sits on Lake Monticello, which was warm year-round because it was used to cool the power plant. Lake Monticello is immediately next door to Lake Bob Sandlin, which is a reservoir operated by the Titus County Fresh Water Supply District. Lake Monticello does, however, have a dam that allows it to release water into Lake Bob Sandlin.

"Luminant controls Lake Monticello, and due to the recent closing of the Monticello Power Plant, they have decided to open the gates on their dam and release water from Lake Monticello into Lake Bob Sandlin and this was done on Jan. 11," said Darrell Grubbs executive director of the fresh water supply district.

"Moving forward, the two lakes will mirror each other in elevation. As a result of this decision, Lake Bob Sandlin did rise about 0.65 (feet) or almost 8 (inches). The two lakes are now the same elevation and unless Luminant changes something, they will remain this way."

Luminant representatives didn't immediately return a phone call to explain why the company did that. Grubbs, however, said it could be that if the company didn't open the gate, it would need someone there managing the gate even though the plant is closed.

Opening the gate would be the easiest and least expensive fix to that situation, he said.

Now, here's where your 3-feet rumor might have come from: Grubbs explained that Lake Monticello's normal pool elevation is 340 feet. Lake Bob Sandlin's is about 337.5 feet, and the lake was at 336.76 feet when Monticello's gate was opened.

That's about a 3-foot difference.

However, the lakes are different sizes, so opening the dam did not translate into a 3-foot increase in Lake Bob Sandlin's level.

Q: I was reading the story about Wiley College and Denzel Washington. I was wondering, for whom is Wiley College named?

A: The college's website says it was named for Bishop Isaac T. Wiley, "an outstanding minister, medical missionary and educator."

Q: There's a medical office that does not appear to have an adequate number of handicapped parking spaces. Are they abiding by state laws regarding the number of handicapped parking spots they should have?

A: So, you told me the name of this place but I'm not printing it because it seems unfair to do that without being able to say yes or no.

And I can tell you I am in no way qualified to make a determination about whether this particular business is meeting the requirements.

Generally speaking, parking facilities must have: one accessible parking spot for up to 25 spaces; two accessible spots for 26 to 50 spots; three for 51 to 75; four for 76 to 100, and so on.

However, there are other parking requirements that could specifically apply to this facility.

So, here's what I suggest: If you suspect this facility doesn't meet the requirements you can complain to the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division online at ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm or to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at tdlr.texas.gov.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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